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Determining Hair Damage

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Determining Hair Damage

Do you know if your hair is damaged? Sometimes hair damage can creep up on an unsuspecting hair consumer and may not become obvious until pointed out by a professional hairdresser, friend, or when hair starts misbehaving.

Recent consumer hair surveys have indicated over 95% of women and over 85% of men say they have hair problems they deal with on a daily basis.

A common base of all hair problems is related to hair which is damaged in some manner.

What are some of the most common symptoms of damaged hair? Listed below are some of the most obvious:

1. Split Ends

Depending on the length, type and texture of your tresses you may or may not be able to easily see your split ends. If your hair isn't long enough to pull towards your eyes you may not see splits, yet they may be there.

Can short hair get split ends? Of course.  Hair of any length can develop split ends which is often one of the first and most obvious signs of damaged hair.

2. Dry To Very Dry Strands

Multi-colored Long Wavy Hair

The easiest way to describe dry hair is that it most likely feels rough. scratchy or like sand paper to the touch. Dry hair can range from slightly dry to extremely dry.

Hair can be naturally predisposed towards dryness. However, a common sign of hair damage is often some level of dryness and this is above and beyond genetic predisposition.

Damaged dry hair may also have a tendency towards excessive puffiness, frizz, tangling, brittleness and breakage. Dry hair occurs when the hair is moisture challenged. Hair requires a good moisture balance to avoid the development of damage.

3. Over Elasticity

Elasticity is the hair's ability to stretch and then return to normal. When hair is damaged it is overly elastic. This means that may the hair may stretch much further than normal (and healthy) and may not return to normal, leaving it more prone to breakage.

4. Over Porosity

Porosity is the ability of the hair to absorb water or other liquids including hair color and other chemicals. When hair is damaged the porosity levels are out of normal alignment. The result? Hair may have absorption issues. It may over or under absorb water, hair color, conditioners or other liquids.

Over porosity can manifest as hair color that can't be properly absorbed and runs almost instantly off the hair or hair color that is absorbed too deeply and processes too quickly. It can also mean hair that feels water logged or sponge-like when cleansed.

Long Highlighted Ringlets

It also can mean that hair color fades quickly or becomes brassy or discolored.

5. Limp, Lank, Oily Tresses

When hair is severely damaged it can become over porous. When hair is over porous any type of conditioners may be absorbed too deeply into the hair shaft.  As a result, the conditioner may leave a slick finish which can't be easily rinsed off.

In that situation hair is over conditioned with a filmy build-up.  It may leave hair lank, limp and weighed down. Sometimes it may appear oily or greasy as a result of the build-up.

6. Hard Tresses

Damaged hair which is treated improperly with protein treatments may actually development a hard or crunchy texture which makes hair difficult to detangle or style.

In some cases extremely damaged hair can develop more than one type of damage and may appear fried.

Shoulder Length Brunette Hair With Highlights

Hair which become sponge-like when wet, develops a hard outer shell or stretches excessively is an easy tip-off of serious damage.

In other cases hair which is over-porous may or may not be obviously damaged and may only come to light when hair coloring is attempted.

What Should You Do To Determine If Hair Is Damaged?

How do you determine conclusively that your tresses are damaged? Consult with a professional hairdresser for a complete hair check-up.

Another way to determine whether your hair is damaged is to evaluate how your hair is behaving and whether it feels dry, is tangling more often or has any of the other symptoms listed above.

Other Types Of Hair Damage?

Are there other ways of determining hair damage? Please share your thoughts with me.  Have you experienced other symptoms not listed here?
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